Hong Kong’s flagship airline, Cathay Pacific, is donating a Boeing 777-200 – an original version of the first 777s ever made – to an aerospace museum, the carrier announced on September 18, 2018. Since  the first Boeing 777s entered service in 1995 and are counting their 24 years in operation, it appears that more retirements of the iconic triple-sevens are to follow soon.

Cathay’s 777-200 (line number WA001 and registered B-HNL) is to make its last flight on September 18, 2018, leaving from Hong Kong to the Pima Air & Space Museum in Arizona (U.S.).

Cathay Pacific 777-200 
 Cathay Pacific 777-200 Cathay Pacific 777-200
 


Although Cathay Pacific acquired the aircraft in 2000, the plane  has a much longer history. In fact, the model in question is the first 777 ever built. The B-HNL, powered with PW4000 engines at the time, completed  its maiden flight back on June 12, 1994, and was used by Boeing as a test airplane for several years. Cathay Pacific operated the 777-200 , now equipped with Rolls-Royce Trent 800 engines, for 18 years before retiring it in May 2018.

During its  time with Cathay Pacific, the airliner  operated 20,519 flights, recording 49,687 hours of flying time, according to the airline . “Our 777-200 aircraft have served us exceptionally well over the last two decades, and as we progressively retire these over the months ahead, we eagerly look forward to welcoming the state-of-the-art 777-9 aircraft into our fleet from 2021,” Rupert Hogg, the carrier’s CEO, is quoted in a statement. Apart from the 777-200 (B-HNL), Cathay Pacific has four other aircraft of  this version – all of which are currently in service.

Image: United Airlines 777 (reg. N777UA), WikiMedia, CC BY-SA 2.0

The Boeing 777-200 is the first variant of 777 twin jet airliners. It has a range of 5,240 nautical miles (9,700 km) with 305 passengers in a three-class configuration. The 777-200 entered service in May 1995, with the U.S. carrier United Airlines (reg. number N777UA) and is still in service, according to planespotters.net data.